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Kevin Byard in 'good place' with Titans after rejecting pay cut

Kevin Byard has been a true find for the Tennessee Titans as a former third-round pick. All he's done in his seven NFL seasons is lead the league in interceptions one year and be named first-team All-Pro twice while never missing a game in his career.

So you can imagine Byard's reaction when he received news this March while on a family vacation in Mexico: The Titans were asking him to take a pay cut.

"When my agent reached out to the team and had a conversation, it was very easy to be emotional because I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a (certain) way about it," Byard said on the Bussin' With The Boys podcast, which is hosted by former Titans teammates Taylor Lewan and Will Compton. "I was like, 'They asked for what?' But at the same time you can't be emotional in business. If you make an emotional decision within business, more than likely it's going to be bad business. ... It happened."

Then Byard said the magic words that make many Titans fans feel better about his relationship with the franchise.

"I think we're in a good place right now," Byard said.

Even though Titans general manager Ran Carthon previously denied reports that Byard asked for his release thereafter, it appears as if the tension between Byard and the Titans has started to fizzle somewhat.

In 2019, Byard signed a five-year, $70.5 million extension with the team. He's currently slated to make base salaries of $13.6 million in 2023 and 2024, with two more voidable years on the contract after that. Byard is currently the league's ninth-highest-paid safety in the NFL by average per year, according to Over The Cap.

Byard explained to the podcast why he chose to attend mandatory Titans minicamp after skipping the voluntary portion of the offseason program.

"It's really about trust," Byard said. "I think (Titans head coach Mike) Vrabel and the coaching staff understand that this guy (Byard) will take care of his body. I haven't missed a game my entire career. They trust and know that this guy isn't going to come in out of shape. I'm not that type of person.

"This is the business side of it: My job is to be the best safety for the Tennessee Titans."

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